Bagan Strinden Vision

Understanding Cataracts: Causes, Symptoms, and Diagnosis

June 1st, 2023

Cataracts are one of the common eye conditions that affect countless people across the world. As humans age, the natural lens can become clouded and cause vision loss, making it difficult to perform everyday tasks. Understanding cataracts is crucial so you can keep your eyes healthy. In this blog, we will review the causes, symptoms, and diagnosis to help you recognize and treat cataracts before they lead to permanent vision loss.

1. What Are Cataracts?

Cataracts are a common eye disease that typically affects people over 60, although they can develop at any age. They form when the lens in the eye becomes cloudy, resulting in blurry vision and other symptoms that can impact daily life. There are several different types of cataracts, including congenital cataracts that occur at birth, posterior subscapular cataracts that form at the back of the lens, and cortical cataracts that affect the outer edges of the lens.

While it’s not always possible to prevent cataracts from forming, understanding the risk factors and symptoms can help with early detection and treatment options. If you’re experiencing the symptoms of cataracts, wearing sunglasses or contact lenses can prevent your vision from deteriorating futher, while undergoing eye surgery to replace the clouded lens with an artificial lens can reduce or eliminate the effects of cataracts.

2. What Are the Types of Cataracts?

There are several types of cataracts that affect people in slightly different ways. However, the most common one is age-related, which develops gradually as the eye becomes less transparent with age.

Other types of cataracts include congenital cataracts, which are present at the time of birth or develop during early childhood; traumatic cataracts, which can result from an injury to the eye; and secondary cataracts, which can occur as a complication of certain medical conditions or as a side effect of certain medications.

3. What Are the Symptoms of Cataracts?

The condition causes clouding of the eye’s natural lens, leading to blurry vision and other visual problems. Symptoms of cataracts can include blurry or cloudy vision, difficulty seeing at night, sensitivity to light and glare, the need for brighter light when reading or doing close-up work, seeing halos around lights, and fading or yellowing of colors.

Congenital cataracts may cause a child’s eyes to appear cloudy or pupils to appear white or gray. Some cataracts may not cause any noticeable symptoms in the early stages. Although cataracts cannot be prevented, there are several ways to reduce the risk of developing them, such as wearing sunglasses and protecting the eyes from UV rays, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, and quitting smoking.

4. What Causes Cataracts?

The exact cause of cataracts is not always known. Still, several factors have been identified as potential contributors, including age, genetic predisposition, certain medical conditions (such as diabetes), long-term exposure to sunlight, smoking, and certain medications (such as corticosteroids). In rare cases, cataracts can also be present at birth or develop due to trauma to the eye or previous eye surgery.

Why Cataracts form

5. How Will My Eye Doctor Check for Cataracts?

The eye doctor will likely perform an eye exam to determine if you have cataracts. To do this, the doctor will use a slit lamp to look at your eye and examine the severity of the cataract.

Your doctor may also use a visual acuity test to measure your ability to see at various distances and check for changes in your vision. In some cases, your doctor may also dilate your pupils with eye drops to get a better view of the lens and the back of your eye. By performing these tests, your eye doctor can determine whether you have cataracts and develop a treatment plan to help improve your vision.

6. How a Cataract Forms

Cataracts can occur when the proteins in the eye’s natural lens begin to clump together, resulting in the clouding of the lens. This clouding can prevent light from passing through the lens, leading to blurry or distorted vision. It can be formed due to excessive exposure to UV rays, genetics, age, and other environmental factors. Some underlying diseases, such as diabetes, can also cause cataracts to form.

Examination for Cataracts

7. What Are the Risk Factors for Cataracts?

Several risk factors can increase your chances of getting cataracts. While age is the most common, it can also occur due to smoking, excessive exposure to sunlight, alcohol consumption, certain medications (such as corticosteroids), obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and a family history of cataracts. Certain medical conditions can cause cataracts, including uveitis, retinitis pigmentosa, and previous eye surgeries.

Contact your eye doctor and have them run diagnostic tests if you feel like you have developed the condition. The key to treating cataracts is early identification and following the recommendations of your doctor so that your eyes can heal.

8. How Can I Prevent Cataracts?

There is no surefire way to prevent cataracts. However, some steps can be taken to decrease your chances of developing the condition. These include protecting your eyes from UV light by wearing sunglasses, maintaining a nutrient-rich diet, controlling underlying diseases such as diabetes, quitting smoking, and going to the eye doctor for regular checkups for early identification and treatment.

9. Is Cataract Surgery Safe?

Cataract surgery is one of modern medicine’s safest procedures. It is one of the most commonly used treatments for cataracts globally. However, like any eye surgery, there are minor risks, including potential infection, bleeding, and potential vision loss. It’s important to discuss these risks with your doctor and decide if the potential benefits outweigh the risks.

Advancements in technology have made cataract surgery safer than ever, and in most cases, patients can start to see significant improvement in their vision and resume their everyday tasks as soon as a few days after the procedure.

10. Get Cataract Surgery at Bagan Strinden Vision

As you grow older, your risk of developing cataracts increases. If you are experiencing vision problems such as blurry vision, difficulty seeing at night, or sensitivity to light, you may have cataracts.

At Bagan Strinden Vision, our experienced team can diagnose and treat cataracts to help you regain clear vision. We offer advanced premium cataract surgery using state-of-the-art technology and techniques to ensure optimal results. Our expert surgeons perform thousands of premium cataract surgeries every year, implanting a variety of the latest and best premium lenses. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can improve your vision with cataract surgery.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s essential to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

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